The Cadillac ATS changed a lot of people's minds about General Motors (NYSE:GM) when it first debuted last year. Finally, GM's luxury brand had a car that was a true no-excuses rival for the top German brands -- led by BMW (NASDAQOTH:BAMXF) and its ever-popular 3-Series.

The Cadillac ATS sedan has been a success with both critics and buyers here in the U.S. GM is now preparing to offer the compact ATS in China -- as an import. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

So far, the ATS has done what GM intended -- raising Cadillac's street cred while drawing more and more first-time buyers to the brand. Now, GM wants to export that success to China, where Cadillac is gearing up for a big move in China's hot luxury-car market -- but there's a catch.

The catch is that GM is going to import the ATS from the United States. As Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, that move may seem to make good business sense -- but it could put GM's baby Cadillac at a big disadvantage in the world's largest automotive marketplace.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends BMW and General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.